Essays on career mobility in the UK labour market -PhD thesis-

Publication type

Thesis/Degree/Other Honours


Publication date

June 1, 2017


This thesis consists of three substantial chapters on topics related to occupational and industrial mobility. Using quarterly data of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) from 1992 to 2013, Chapter 2 documents the mobility across occupations and industries (referred to as career change). The findings suggest that occupational and industrial mobility are surprisingly high. Both occupational and industrial mobility are procyclical.The majority of instances of career change are associated with wage growth. During an expansion, a career changer's wage grows more than someone who stays in their career. However, this does not apply if the career changer was unemployed and then hired during a recession. The evidence suggests that career mobility during a business cycle is important for understanding the labour market flows and wage growth. The use of interviewing method may affect the accuracy of the data. The dependent interviewing is introduced in the survey, and is helpful in reducing the measurement errors. Chapter 3 uses data from British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and UK Household Longitudinal Survey (UKHLS) to examine the robustness of the results obtained by using LFS. The procyclicality of occupational and industrial mobility are reassured when the change of interviewing method is controlled for. The further detailed occupational and industrial classification is applied, and the pro-cyclicality of occupational and industrial mobility is found in the further detailing of classifications. Given the solid evidence found in Chaper 2 and 3, Chapter 4 develops a theoretical model to understand the mechanism of workers' reallocation. Aggregate productivity shock, sectoral productivity shock and preference shock are included in order to investigate reallocation through business cycle, net mobility and gross mobility respectively. This model shows the procyclicality of gross mobility between sectors, which is consistent with the findings in Chapter 2 and 3. This chapter also explains the higher level of unemployment during recession. This thesis undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the occupational and industrial mobility in the UK using both empirical and theoretical methods. Limitations of this thesis and suggestions for future research are provided






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